Ste put his dish in the sink. It clanked with a shrill note. He stomped down the hall to open the bedroom door but it was locked.
"I don't believe you." Ste fretted outside of the door. "You, scared of me? Is that what its all about?" Ste gritted then.
It was quiet.
"JESUS! Its true then!" He was in a huff. He grabbed his jeans and slid into Josh's shirt and took the pack of cigarettes with him as he went downstairs to the pub. He'd need an ale and lager to think. Side by side. Maybe.
He popped the cigarette in his mouth at the bar.
"Shit, Ste, you know we're smoke free." Kieron said from behind the counter.
"Shut it." Ste scowled as he leaned over his drinks. "I'll tuck it away. Save keeping. Promise." He looked at Kieron out of the corner of his eye, wondering if he should ask an old lover a thing or two about himself. "Aye, can you clarify something for me, please?" He motioned for Kieron to come back.
"What is it?" He still had the stature and the concern of a priest even if he wasn't one, anymore.
"Was I hard on you?" Kieron squinted with a scowl.
"Hard on me?" He had Kieron cracking up.
"You know what I mean?" Ste was serious.
"I was never afraid of you." Kieron nodded.
Ste sipped his drink then. He wouldn't think anymore about being a shit to anyone. If Kieron wasn't afraid. Why would Josh be? He turned to see Rupert coming in to the Black Cat.
"You aren't working tonight?" Ste motioned for another lager. This time he had a drink for Rupert.
"It was slow, and I felt like leaving after the first part. Couldn't handle another parade tonight." He sighed.
"You look like shit." Ste grinned.
"Yeah, I could use a good sleep." Rupert yawned with a nod.
"So you and Soren, flying high, aye?" He got a whiff of the ganga on Rupert.
"Shut it." Rupert grinned. "We're doing great. Everything is great."
"Is it?" Ste moved back and forth on his rotating seat. "Me, man, thinks I'm twisted."
"But aren't you?" Rupert shrugged as he took a big sip of his drink.
"I was, possibly, but you know, thats history. Not with Josh. Its different with him." Ste empted the glass of ale and drank at his lager then. "You know, I wouldn't hit him. I wouldn't."
"Why are you telling me this?" Rupert looked at him.
"Because I'm not like that other person. The one who beat the crap out the likes of small individuals as yourself, and then fucked them." Ste nodded.
"I don't think I want to know that person, Ste." Rupert shook his head, no.
"Then how come thats the first person Josh sees when he sees me?" Ste gave Rupert a soured frown then. "He doesn't trust me." He shook his head. "How come I didn't know, until now?"
Rupert drank at his lager. No one had a straight answer for him.